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Where to see manatees in South Florida, including live webcam

Warmer temperatures of South Florida offer residents an opportunity to watch Florida's favorite weird animal, the manatee. In the winter, they can be seen swimming throughout South Florida's coastal waterways, including the New River and Biscayne Bay.

Free  Manatee App

The free “I Spy A Manatee” app was created to protect the giant manatees from motorboats blades.

“I Spy A Manatee” app offers:

  • Format to report locations of manatees in canals, rivers, lakes and other waterways in Broward, including western Broward, according to Samantha Jarvis, natural resource specialist for Broward County Environmental Protection Department.
  • Information on manatee protection.
  • Boating safety zones in Broward.

“While we know manatees are in our waters during the colder months, it is always interesting to see how many are here year-round. It’s also important to report any injured or entangled manatees so that Fish and Wildlife can assess and help,” Jarvis says.

Information from Broward County's webpage on manatees:

“In the app, you can take a picture of the manatee or select a picture from the device's gallery. Enter the sighting information such as number of manatees and and the manatees' activity, and either enter the location or let the device use the location services to find the location for you. When the sighting report is successfully submitted, the manatees of Broward County will thank you.

“…with the app, you can view a map of the County’s waterways with State-regulated Manatee Protection and Boating Safety zones. With location services active, the map will also display the mobile device’s location on the waterway.”

Watching manatees in Broward 

Occasionally manatees are visible from a path along the New River at Secret Woods park in Dania Beach.

Entry to the park and parking are free. Secret Woods is at 2701 W. State Road 84, Dania Beach, 954-357-8884, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Or enjoy an adorable video submitted from South Florida on YouTube

“Manatees are very curious, and hungry,” Jarvis says. “It’s fun to see them use their larger prehensile lips to pull down mangrove leaves and other foliage hanging over the rivers. They may rub their large bodies up alongside a dock piling for a good scratch as well. A double special treat to see a mom with a new calf trailing beside her. Manatees are a rare sight to see for many families if they aren’t familiar with being on the water, so it is a special moment to teach children about these marine mammals, including migration patterns, herbivore diets and conservation efforts.”

Webcam from Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach

Warm-water discharges from FPL’s Next Generation Clean Energy Center draws manatees during winter. 

Manatee Lagoon's observation deck is not  open until further notice.

A live webcam offers a peek into the water.

Information on manatees

Patti Roth

About Patti Roth

Patti Roth, the editor of Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap, scouts out state and national deals, discounts and coupons for our readers, finding the real deals and presenting them in an easy-to-read format. A veteran newspaper and magazine writer and a longtime South Florida resident, she has written for The Miami Herald, The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Travel and Life, E Environmental Magazine, Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, US Architecture and Send your cheap tips to her at

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